Wednesday, August 12, 2015

how to get a better night's sleep

hey y'all! i am currently in san francisco on vacation, so i figured i'd use this week to introduce you to some other fabulous bloggers. today's post is brought to you by natalie of thirty-seventh avenue, a fellow birmingham blogger. natalie's blog features interior design, general well-being/lifestlye tips, recipes and much, much more. natalie is a pro on routine and being your best self, so i'm happy to pass along her tips on getting your best sleep. give natalie a follow on twitter and instagram!

hi! i’m natalie over at thirty-seventh avenue. meredith so kindly asked me to share with you all a little more in depth about the topic of establishing a morning routine. i recently shared with my readers about my personal morning routine and what works for me, and i got a lot of positive feedback. to keep from sounding redundant, i wanted to talk about what actually makes my morning routine work. it’s actually something that happens the night before.

for most of us, getting enough sleep at night is a constant struggle. there's always something else that needs to be done before we can hit the sheets. by the time you've done your afternoon routine of cooking, cleaning, folding, washing, etc. going to bed can seem like a hassle in its own. and the worst part is the alarm that goes off in the morning reminding us we didn’t get enough. it happens far too often.

humor me: from the moment we start kindergarten, we're trained by the sound of an alarm. there's a need of certainty, a call to do something when we hear one. a wake-up alarm, a reminder ding on your phone, a smoke detector, a police siren, a timer on the stove, they all have one thing in common: they make us react to something. what i’m getting at is, if we rely so heavily on the alarm to wake up every morning, how come we don’t use one to go to sleep each night?

so i tried it. i started setting an alarm for 9:30 pm. when it goes off, i force myself to stop whatever i'm doing and get ready for bed. i give myself thirty minutes to do whatever i need to do to get read (brush my teeth, wash my face, etc), but when that thirty minutes is up i need to be in the bed, phone on the charger (not in my hands!), and lights off. whether i fall asleep right that second or not, i do nothing else.

since i've started setting an alarm for bedtime, i have noticed:
  • i'm more productive throughout the work day. 
  • i don't get the 2:00 yawns, which means i'm more alert. 
  • i eat around 350 less calories a day. 
  • my stress level has dropped - which solves 90% of life's problems. 
  • my immune system is working better than before. 
  • i'm able to work out longer. 
  • my skin feels relaxed instead of tight. 
  • i'm not breaking out as much. 

i tend to thrive on routine, so if you don’t this may not be for you. even on the evenings that i’m not able to jump up and get ready to go to bed at 9:30 pm i’m far more conscious of that time passing and if the task that i'm doing is a good enough tradeoff. opportunity costs, people. on the odd week night i am doing something fun instead of going to bed, which happens because it’s summertime, it feels like a treat. ever other typical night, the alarm reminds me that the next day will be better if i let it send me to bed.

the bottom line: make sleep a priority. you must schedule sleep like any other daily activity, so put it on your "to-do list" and cross it off every night. but don’t make it the thing you do only after everything else is done – stop doing other things so you get the sleep you need.

have you ever tried setting an alarm for bed?

1 comment:

  1. I had to teach myself to set an alarm as well because I just get distracted reading, doing homework, watching Netflix or trying to figure out how I am going to take over the world. I don't ALWAYS go to bed when it goes off but I do more times than I don't. Thank you for sharing your take on this.


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